Ancient Olympia

In the western Peloponnese, in the beautiful valley of the alpheios River, lies the most celebrated sanctuary of ancient Greece, which was dedicated to the father of the gods, Zeus. Spreads on the Southwest foot of the verdant Hill Saturn, between the rivers Alfios and Kladeos, which join together in this area.

Although secluded near the West coast of the Peloponnese, Olympia was established as the most important religious and athletic center of Greece. It was here, where the greatest games of ancient Greece, the Olympics, were born and held every four years in honor of Zeus, an institution with Panhellenic radiation and glare from antiquity until today.

The beginnings of worship and of mythical events that took place in Olympia is lost in the mists of time. Local legends about the powerful King of the region, the famous Pelops, and the River God Alpheus, illustrate the strong links of the sanctuary with both the East and the West

Within the majestic Temple of God, stood the statue of Zeus at Olympia, the work of Phidias, which was known in antiquity as one of the seven wonders of the world. The Hellenistic period erected several buildings, mostly secular, as the Gymnasium and the Palestra, and in Roman times made modifications to the existing ones. Also built baths, luxurious residences and the aqueduct.

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